Every week we ask Forum members and visitors to our website a timely question. Last week we wondered if the sunshine was helping to grow small business sales. While 42% said they’d seen no change, 37% had seen an uplift in business.
Obviously, it depends what kind of business you’re in – small businesses in seaside towns are understandably doing a roaring trade. But there’s a lot to be said for making the most of seasonal ebbs and flows.
Cashing in on warmer weather
Retailers in particular are doing very well off the back of the warmer weather, with the British Retail Consortium's Retail Sales Monitor showing that June sales grew by 1.4 per cent year-on-year, and 2.9 per cent overall.
If your business has taken a turn up for the books, great news! Use this as an opportunity to find new customers, leads and potential return customers. Offer excellent service and special summer offers to get more business through your doors and make new contacts.
Unfortunately, 21% of respondents to our poll had seen business get quieter in the last few weeks. If your business has taken a quiet turn, never fear. Take this as an opportunity to spend some time doing all those little (but important) tasks you’ve been putting off, or take the time to re-evaluate your plans for the next six months.
If you can face it, many businesses are already starting to plan for Christmas!
Safety in the sun
The government has issued a Level 3 heatwave alert, which means it’s hot enough to warn people to protect themselves from the possible health effects of hot weather. But what are your responsibilities as a business owner to your staff?
While you have a duty to make sure work temperatures are reasonable, there is actually no upper legal limit for temperatures at work. However, it’s worth making sure your employees are comfortable at work to maintain their productivity and reduce absences - make sure cold drinking water is available, make your premises is as cool as possible and perhaps relax any formal dress code if appropriate.
If your workers work outside, they should also protect their skin. Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive can be found here. Most importantly, take the time to enjoy the good weather.
This is Britain after all, you never know when you’ll see it again.